henke3

Austin Henke

Email address: henke3@wisc.edu

Room Number: 
3327
Telephone Number: 
608-262-6371
Group Affiliation: 
Hamers Group
Position Name: 
Graduate Student
Path: 
Analytical
henke3's picture

Education

B.S. 2015, Truman State University (Chemistry)

Research Description

Austin studies the electrolytic production of highly reactive oxygen species (HROS) in aqueous solution for water purification. Specifically, the HROS hydroxyl radical (·OH), offers a promising route to completely oxidize and eliminate most organic contaminants in waste water, such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, pathogenic bacteria, and industrial byproducts. In this field, boron-doped diamond (BDD) is currently one of the best and most studied materials for producing ·OH electrolytically. However, conductive polymer electrodes with a surface similar to that of diamond may be a cheaper alternative. Austin collaborates with others in the Hamers group to fabricate novel, polymeric electrode materials, develop detection methods for hydroxyl radicals, and study the ·OH-induced decomposition of potential pollutants through these advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). His goal is to better understand AOPs and the electrolytic production of ·OH so that this technology may be applied in either municipal water systems, or even in parts of the world currently lacking clean water. This multifaceted project involves material design and characterization, electrochemistry, and a variety of analytical techniques, such as HPLC, GC-MS, fluorimetry, and UV-vis spectroscopy.